Daily life- Regency Period
After breakfast with the children, the first job of the lady of the house would be to talk to the housekeeper. It would be important for them to communicate about the other servants, making sure they were doing their jobs properly and behaving correctly above and below stairs.
They would also discuss the evening meal. If visitors were expected, the lady would choose meals that were lavish and unusual. (They loved showing off) When these matters were dealt with the wife would then check through the household accounts. Bills for meat, candles and flour would usually be paid weekly. When the early morning activities were finished, the social whirl would begin! High society ladies would either receive calls or visit others. Tea would be drunk and snacks eaten.
Very agreeable pastime for a young Regency lady (especially a Brunswick town resident) was to show off their latest fans and fashions along the sea front. To stroll along the promenade at Brighton was a popular way to spend a few hours.
In Brunswick Square the lady of the house would have aspired to be the best dressed in town. Different outfits would be laid out by the maid for each section of the day. Politically, the French Revolution was a major talking point, thus introducing popular French fashions. At this time Napoleon had declared himself ruler of the Empire, and we see the emergence of the 'Empire Line' dress. This style raised the waist-line to sit under the breast.
This design pushed away from the need of the uncomfortable boned corsets. However if corsets were to be worn, the lady would be helped to dress by a maid. The maid would pull the strings tight at the back of the garment until the lady was laced in. On top of this would be placed a range of petticoats, then finally a 'Morning Dress'.
A Regency woman would change her clothes up to 6 times a day and would have had a number of different outfits for every conceivable occasion.
Is the term for historical dances of the period ranging roughly from 1790 to 1825. Some feel that the popular use of the term "Regency dance" is not technically correct, as the actual English Regency (the future George IV ruling on behalf of mad King George III) lasted only from 1811 until 1820. However, the term "Regency" has been used to refer to a much broader period than the historical Regency for a very long time, particularly in areas such as the history of art and architecture, literature, and clothing. This is because there are consistencies of style over this period which make having a single term useful.
Most popular exposure to this era of dance comes in the works of Jane Austen. Balls occur in her novels and are discussed in her letters, but specifics are few. Films based on her works tend to incorporate modern revival English Country Dance; however, they rarely incorporate dances actually of the period and do them without the appropriate footwork and social style which make them accurate to the period. Dances of this era were lively and bouncy, not the smooth and stately style seen in films. Steps ranging from simple skipping to elaborate ballet-style movements were used.
In the early part of this period, up to the early 1810s, the ballroom was dominated by the country dance, the cotillion, and the scotch reel.
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